Holiday season

Editorial: Staying Safe This Holiday Season

With Christmas this weekend, families are looking to get together for some quality time.

Last Christmas, amid the coronavirus pandemic, people were quarantined with only those in their household. It was lonely for some, but they stayed safe, away from contact with other people.

Then 2021 came and with the vaccines we saw some hope – we started to slowly take off our masks and travel again. Families reunited.

But unfortunately that was premature and now Suffolk County has a 14% positivity rate as of Tuesday, December 21.

To put it into perspective, municipalities in New York State were closed at 5% in the spring of 2020. We doubled the seven-day average from where we were at that time. and we have not closed.

And there are reasons for that. Luckily, over a year and a half later, we have the vaccines, we have the boosters, and we know the masks work – we just have to keep using them and keep using common sense.

It’s sad to think that this is the second Christmas where some families might not see their loved ones out of fear. It’s sad that as a country we were doing well and have now fallen back into old habits of not taking care of ourselves and others.

If we continue not to listen to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, our health care providers and science,

Politicians insist we won’t go into lockdown, but what if the infection rate drops to 20%? What will we do if hospitals are overcrowded again?

With the comfort we felt over the past summer, newly vaccinated with restrictions lifted, some may have forgotten what the start of 2020 was like. Grandparent visits were through a window. Restaurants were not allowed to eat inside. Sanitizers and masks were impossible to find, while bodies were kept in outside trailers as the morgue was packed.

We don’t want to go back in that direction, especially with all the resources we have now. We have the vaccine, we have the booster, we have masks and we know how to fight this virus. We just have to do it collectively and not treat it lightly.

So this holiday season, and throughout the rest of the winter, please take care of yourself, take care of others, and be safe.

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